Some important things to remember when planning your trip:
1. Travel Documents: Please check your travel documents as soon as they are received so that any changes can be made immediately if necessary.
Advise us of any frequent flyer details prior to travel in order to earn the points for which you may be eligible. Never throw away an airline ticket and keep all boarding passes as these are the record that you have actually flown. These are generally required by an airline in order to earn points retrospectively.
2. Baggage: Label your luggage clearly. A brightly coloured sticker or tag is a good idea as so many cases look alike. Use bags that can be locked. Hard cases on wheels are the best. Make a list of the contents and have receipts or valuations for expensive items, in order to make a claim easily in case of loss or theft. Never leave luggage unattended and do not carry luggage for other people. Never pack dangerous items in your hand luggage. It is advisable to leave expensive items at home. Make a permanent packing list before you go and then use it to pack whenever you travel adding and discarding items depending on your destination. Ideally take clothes that are drip dry and don’t need ironing. Always include a travel clock so that you do not have to rely on hotels to wake you up for that all important flight. Don’t pack too much as you need room in your suitcase for purchases! One suitcase and one carry on luggage is all you should take.
3. Personal Security: Money should be either carried in a money belt or a secured pocket. Use the hotel safes where available for both passports and money. Pickpockets are common any many places and may come in the guise of a gang of small children who surround and distract you. But in general you are no more at risk overseas than at home. For current information on whether it is safe to travel to a certain country please refer to www.dfat.gov.au/travel.
4. Health: Consult your doctor after you have discussed your possible requirements with us. Your G.P has access to the most recent health information and will administer any necessary vaccinations. Ensure that you carry all required medications and preferred personal items with you as you may not be able to obtain them overseas. A small medical kit is a good idea with basic medications for cuts and tummy bugs that you may pick up whilst travelling and eating unfamiliar food. If travelling to exotic locations a sealed needle kit is recommended, should you require an injection. This should not be taken in your hand luggage. In many countries it is not safe to drink tap water, so it always recommended that you drink bottled water and avoid taking in drinks. You need to constantly monitor health and vaccination requirements. The best place for Australian travellers is the government site. http://www.smartraveller.gov.au
5. Preparation: Buy or borrow a range of good guidebooks on the destination you are to visit. It makes the trip much more enjoyable if you know a bit about the culture and customs of the countries you are visiting. Knowing what the climate and customs are like will help you to pack appropriately. There are lots of online apps as well, so you can probably save on weight in your luggage!
6. Keep in Touch: Make sure that your leave a copy of your itinerary at home with friends or family. Alternatively let them know who your Travel Agent is! Take a phone card with you or buy phone cards locally as this is much cheaper than ringing from hotel rooms. Most cities and towns now have Internet cafes and this is a great way of keeping in touch and getting a good cup of coffee!
7. Tipping and Bargaining: Tipping practices vary all over the world. Local guide books are good source of information, but ultimately the choice is yours. Some pre-paid tours and cruises have gratuities included in the price of the tour. In some countries it is customary to bargain, but remember that many traders and their families are wholly dependent on the money received from tourists.
8. Turn OFF data roaming on your phone before you leave home. Buy a local sim card to reduce your internet and phone costs
9. Never carry luggage for someone else unless you know its contents
10. CHECK-IN online ahead of travel if this option is offered.
11. You cannot take more than 100 ml of any liquid substance on a aircraft, so pack all your shampoos, body lotions, toothpaste etc in your checked luggage. Put anything you wish to take on board in a plastic sandwich bag and show this to the security staff on check-in.
12. Buyer beware! – some airports insist that duty free alcohol can only be purchased airside after you have cleared security.